Benjamin Franklin Papers
Documents filtered by: Period="Adams Presidency"
sorted by: date (ascending)

To Benjamin Franklin from the Marquis de Saint-Lambert, [after 1 March 1779]

From the Marquis de Saint-Lambert8

ALS: American Philosophical Society

[after March 1, 1779?]

Monsieur.

Vous n’aurés peutetre pas connu sous le nom de mäer, L’officier dont je Vous ai parlé, ce nom est celui de la famille, mais il porte chès Vous le nom du chevalier de Villepré, il est lieutenant colonel au service des etats unis il est actuellement a nante ou il doit s’embarquer incessamment pour boston. La grace que Mr. de Tressan Vous demande c’est que le neveu du cher. de Villepré puisse partir avec son oncle.9 Ce neveu a de trés bons certificats du régiment ou il a servi.1 Il paroit sage, et on pourroit en etre Content en amerique. Je Vous serai obligé, monsieur, si Vous Voulès bien me faire un mot de rèponse. Je souhaite que Votre santé soit meilleure et que nous Vous donnions Vaisseaux argent etc. et ladresse de meilleurs amiraux,2 J’ai l’honneur d’etre avec toute la Veneration possible, Monsieur, Votre très obéissant serviteur

St. Lambert

Notation: St. St Lambert

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

8This is the first extant letter from a man who later became a familiar face to BF. Jean-François, marquis de Saint-Lambert (XXIV, 219–20n), had received a request dated March 1 from the comte de Tressan (discussed below), asking him to intercede with BF on behalf of one of de Tressan’s friends, a certain Maër. Soon thereafter Saint-Lambert evidently visited Passy and spoke to BF; this letter is the follow-up to their conversation.

9Louis-Elisabeth de La Vergne, comte de Tressan, was an old friend and neighbor of Saint-Lambert; he was also a colleague of BF at the Académie des sciences: Larousse; XXIV, 218–19, 331–2; XXVII, 476n. Rather than ask this favor of BF directly, however, he wrote a letter on March 1 to Saint-Lambert, then in Paris, asking him to urge BF to allow a young man named Febvet to accompany Maër, a relative, to America. Maër and Febvet, he stressed, belonged to an excellent Alsatian family. Saint-Lambert must have given this letter to BF when he called on him, as it is now among the Franklin Papers at the APS.

1According to Tressan, Febvet had served six years in the Orléans dragoon regiment, “où mon cousin Genlis [XXVII, 422n] m’avait promis de l’avancer.” Maër, a lieutenant-colonel with the Insurgents, hoped to make Febvet a lieutenant, maybe even a captain, once they reached America.

2An ironic reference to d’Estaing, who had failed to recapture St. Lucia: XXVIII, 347–50, 598. A strong denunciation of d’Estaing’s conduct appeared in François Métra, Correspondance secrète, politique et littéraire … (18 vols., 1787–90), VII, 313–18.

Index Entries